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This Article discusses whether courts should recognize spousal IIED causes of action based on intentional lies that interfere with the establishment or the continuation of parent-child relationships. The Article begins with an overview of the currents in family law and tort law that converge in domestic tort actions. Next, it reviews the current status of a particular domestic tort: spousal emotional distress. It then examines the evolution of emotional distress claims based on interference with parent-child relationships, moving from California's early and continuing rejection of these claims to the very recent recognition of these claims by other states. Finally, it evaluates the arguments for and against allowing claims such as Steve's and concludes that one spouse's intentional and unjustified interference with a parent-child relationship should lead to the other spouse's liability for any resulting emotional distress.

Publication Citation

33 Loy. L.A. L. Rev. 449 (2000)